Page 721 - City of Villains, Part 6

5th Mar 2016, 5:00 AM in Intermission 7
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City of Villains, Part 6
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Author Notes:

Newbiespud 5th Mar 2016, 5:00 AM edit delete
On the topic of formations: Did you and your group ever come up with a structured or even named plan of attack? I mean, most systems just promote everyone doing their own thing until they better understand each others' combat skills, but I'm curious if there are any who made it far enough to employ formal tactics. Or at least call the most common strategy a silly name.

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ANW 5th Mar 2016, 5:20 AM edit delete reply
Tv Tropes Saturday
Has your group ever encounter this
Insult Backfire
1. They it as a compliment.
"Your rude, crude, and just plain mean"
"I love having my ego stroked"
2. The insult is too small
"You're the worst person I've ever met"
"No, I'm the worst person anyone have ever met"
3. They send it right back
"You are a no good rotten cheater"
"Says the the person with the horseshoes in their gloves"
j-eagle12212012 5th Mar 2016, 5:38 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon 5th Mar 2016, 7:36 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
Captain Jack Sparrow knows how to turn an insult around. :D
Mace Direwolf 7th Mar 2016, 6:15 AM edit delete reply
Mace Direwolf
Hehe. He sure does. Good one, J!

Say, Digo, pardon me for missin' my opportunity on the last page, but I've been curious; what's the story on Doc, Manco and Switchblade? Backstory type stuff and how/why they teamed up.
Bken Gr 5th Mar 2016, 7:50 AM edit delete reply
"This castle is a mess! And your people are just a bunch of criminals no one wants to deal with!"
"Yep. Home, sweet home."
aerion111 5th Mar 2016, 9:51 AM edit delete reply
'Insult Backfire' is one of the more effective ways to prove your character's wit, so it does often come up in my groups, but since it requires real-life wit too it's not as frequent as some might like <.<
Rastaba 5th Mar 2016, 1:14 PM edit delete reply
No group stories, but that's basically my personal check-list for being my good old wise-cracking self. Always enjoy turning their own words back on them in jokes.
Ted the saiyanwolf 5th Mar 2016, 1:48 PM edit delete reply
Ted the saiyanwolf
Sticks and stones may break my bone, but words . . . I can throw right back at you with a deflect from a monk
aylatrigger 5th Mar 2016, 8:25 PM edit delete reply
One character I had was a 10 year old nightmare. Not a literal nightmare, but she was a CE dread pirate/ninja (this character showed me 3.5 ninja is terrible and dread pirate is awesome). One of my friends was playing a LG Aasimar...I forget what class. Anyway, we decided that the LG character was my 'legal guardian'.

There were many insult backfires as the LG character bemoaned the relationship and I just appreciated how CE I was being.

The biggest insult backfire was probably after an incident at the docks happened... You see, to be a Dread Pirate, you need a pirate ship. So, if you are starting as one, you have a ship. My GM did not realize this when he let me be one, and had planned a land adventure. So there was a little disagreement at the docks. Government officials came to repossess my ship because of backtaxes. I said no. They showed me the scroll saying they could take it. I took a zippo and set fire to the scroll. My guardian tried to stop this, as it was a legal document. She caught on fire. In a panic, she jumped off the docks. The fire was put out. After a moment, she surfaced from the waters and came out, covered in piranhas. Now while I enjoyed making fun of her and torturing her, I felt some companionship, so I tried to take the piranhas burning them with the zippo. She caught fire again. Back overboard. More piranhas. She healed herself. ...Unfortunately, the piranhas were still attached to her, so she had fused with them. ...I offered to burn them off.

Eventually she was well, not on fire, and with no piranhas, but it took a while. I then commented that at least it wasn't as bad as the time with the ferrets. She said horrified, "You just wasted the two years of therapy it took to forget that."

I gloated.
Freelance 5th Mar 2016, 11:47 PM edit delete reply
Teammate: "Have you ever been drawn and quartered?"
My Character: "No, but I have been nickel and dimed."
Teammate: "Have you ever been hit with the ugly stick?"
My character: "Psh, how do you think I got THIS mug?"
That last bit actually got him cracking and admitting that was pretty good.
Anfawen 5th Mar 2016, 5:27 AM edit delete reply
Not so much a plan,as something to be avoided: Fireball Formation.
That is, having the whole party close enough together that one fireball could hit all members. Usually not a healthy thing to do.
Digo Dragon 5th Mar 2016, 7:37 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
Ah yes, fireball formation. That is one name that gets used in nearly all campaigns. Even non-DD ones have applications of it (like with grenades, or a speeding truck).
Specter 5th Mar 2016, 9:47 AM edit delete reply
We had a strategy (a really dumb one) that we had named "Operation Bard". Keep in mind that none of us are bards, none of us have any support based skills, and that half the party carries an instrument just for this plan.

Operation Bard requires three things:
-The correct environment, if the area of operation did not meet proper conditions then someone in the party would get killed.
-The entire team had to be in on the operation, because the party would be drastically split if even one person did not follow the operation (and it would be a different operation we already had).
-Finally, everyone who is Lawful has to be drunk, because there is going to be at least one, and it would be very convincing if they smelled of the good drink.

Just like that, Operation Bard is ready to go. We do have other strategies, but this one has yet to fail us.
Winged Cat 5th Mar 2016, 11:15 PM edit delete reply
Unless you're in a map combat game where start-of-combat party buffs can be fired off to hit everyone in one action if they're close enough, and then formation breaks as combat ensues. I recall almost being in that situation once, though the campaign ultimately didn't go with map combat.
j-eagle12212012 5th Mar 2016, 5:33 AM edit delete reply
My favorite formation comes from the mighty ducks movie, the flying V is a great name for a hockey formation for a team named the Ducks, although in practice it only works 20% of the time so not the best stratagey
Hubris Plus 5th Mar 2016, 6:14 AM edit delete reply
We never came up with anything in advance, but if we hit on a workable and repeatable tactic we'd usually slap a name on it and reuse where appropriate.

One such tactic was used any time the party cleric was isolated and out of combat spells. Come to think of it, we probably should have just started planning on not letting that happen in the first place, BUT ANYWAY.

It was called Plan T, and involved the cleric throwing an ever-flowing pitcher of hot tea at whatever was menacing him. I know it sounds like a terrible idea. It WAS a terrible idea.

But he just kept critting!
Marduk 5th Mar 2016, 6:36 AM edit delete reply
Yes, one of my groups devised a simple, effective plan that could be applied in a wide variety of situations: Plan B. We would begin with the more complicated conventional plans, like negotiating, stealth, or what have you. Then if anybody felt things were going south on us, they'd yell out "Plan B" and we'd change to that. It had a default meaning I'm sure you've all guessed - kill everything. In a few circumstances we would agree beforehand that it meant run instead. There was talk of making run Plan C, but we figured it would be confusing.
Winged Cat 5th Mar 2016, 11:10 PM edit delete reply
In one campaign, I played a planner. He was often scheming, looking ahead to how things might play out and laying out his actions around them.

At one point he had a breakdown, having taken severe emotional trauma. (Among other things, his plan to rescue his father wound up getting said parent killed, not quite in front of his eyes but close enough. He was trying to find ways to bring his father back - and resurrections are not exactly common in MLP.) For him, this took the form of actually explaining and naming his contingency plans, showing how Plan B was more desperate than Plan A, and Plan C yet more of a gamble, but that was all he had left.
FanOfMostEverything 5th Mar 2016, 8:18 AM edit delete reply
This is a major failing on my part. See, my group doesn't actually have a playmat. I try to coordinate tactical movement in a graph paper notebook, but that means that I have to either describe the situation to everyone like it's a text adventure or make them get up and see what the situation is in the rather cramped setup. I really need to fix that...

Granted, coordination isn't exactly this group's strong suit. It's not like they'd be pulling stunning acts of tactical genius.
Arken 5th Mar 2016, 9:34 AM edit delete reply
the best we ever got to was that we had a wand of illumination that could cast a spell that blinded everyone in the area (as well as damage undead, but that was less important). we decided on a code word that the caster would say before using it so that everyone that was with us would close their eyes, it ended up as a great fight starter to tip the odds.
HonorableInsanity 5th Mar 2016, 2:15 PM edit delete reply
I've kinda had the opposite, when playing in a group were we were so bad at planning, and having it turn out so badly for us, resulting in accidental harm to other party members, the deaths of three characters, and even being lucky to avoid a full TPK on at least one occasion, that when we were in a situation where we had managed to get ourselves as guests of this powerful character, who we would be having dinner with that evening and were planning on killing, the GM checked with us as to whether or not we actually had a plan for how to defeat her.

Cue us spending half an hour real time making up plans, the majority of which boiled down to "create minor distraction, and then kill them while their distracted", including, but not limited to, putting on an impromptu circus performance in the middle of the meal or throwing gold at them as a distraction.

Without the GM checking as they did, we'd probably have actually gone with something like that and have been wiped out, rather than actually thinking of something that could actually work - like just poisoning them, which is what we eventually went for, and it would have worked seemingly without a hitch, had we not lost faith in whether or not the poisoned food was actually poisoned, and attacked them anyway.

Really, the fact that we only had four PC's die in that campaign is probably less than we deserved with the forethought we put into our actions...
Dent Arthur Dent 5th Mar 2016, 6:41 PM edit delete reply
While we didn't have any standard formations for combat, we did have a formation we often used during our dungeon crawling sessions: The Hurbaz Trapfinding Formation. The formation was rather simple: Hurbaz, our Rogue, would be standing in front of the door/chest/section of floor that we believed might be trapped. Everyone else would stand at least 50 feet back (if possible), preferably around a corner. Herbaz would then proceed to attempt to disarm the trap. This formation worked great at keeping our party alive… except for Hurbaz. Luckily, the Friendly Local Druid™ had a "Frequent Reincarnation" program, so he was able to get a free reincarnation after every 10 or so deaths.
Name 5th Mar 2016, 10:40 PM Title edit delete reply
I'm partial to "Everyone Gang Up On F!#?face A"
Digo Dragon 7th Mar 2016, 4:46 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
My old local D&D group used to like the Ghostbusters plan A of "Get her!"
Winged Cat 5th Mar 2016, 11:01 PM edit delete reply
Formal tactics more often come up in campaigns with map-based combat, and most of my campaigns have not had that (or, when they did, open enough maps that the obvious and only tactic was, "melee types rush the nearest enemy, ranged types hang back, healers focus on the melee types").

Without a map, things like chokepoints and blind corners tend not to exist, except in cases like Fate where a player uses an action to invent one. I recall doing this in a Star Wars game: we were supposed to hijack a droid, and I'd rolled well enough that the system said one of my options was to establish some fact, so I whipped up a low-security oil bath depot near the route the droid would take, which we could drag the droid into for unobserved tampering.

But even without a map, I have been a part of tactics from time to time, either when some PC (usually mine) leads the enemies into an ambush, or focusing fire - either to reduce the number of enemies and swing the battle's tempo in our favor, or because a load bearing boss has shown up. (We're setting that up right now in my D&D campaign: we've been told that if we kill the cultist leader, the other cultists will quickly become neutrals or friendlies.)

As GM, I have had the enemies pull tactics when I thought the players up to the challenge. For instance, recently in a sci-fi campaign, the PCs attacked a group of spaceships that were invading their home systems. The attack was easy...but caught on video by a ship dressed up to look like a news ship, which then immediately sped towards Earth to try to broadcast a heavily edited recording of the PCs mercilessly slaughtering a scout fleet staffed by the poor and not-altogether-there (common folk with social connections, sufficiently deficient that the bad guys wanted them purged from the human gene pool, though they were quite happy to let the PCs unwittingly perform said purge). Fortunately, the PCs caught on in time to avoid a massacre, and managed to beat the propaganda ship back to Earth. (Yes, they traveled faster than bad news. They're epic tier.)
Jarimor 6th Mar 2016, 6:25 AM edit delete reply
The one time in a super's game we tried to plan, i died to minions in six seconds.

There was also the game i ran with a Hallucinogen grenade...Dark Heresy was never meant for that many rolls...
The Hittite 6th Mar 2016, 8:01 AM edit delete reply
15. Plan B is not automatically twice as much gunpowder as Plan A.

431. We will not implement any battle plan that includes the underlined words "And hope they miss a lot."

720. Don't have to include the line "And then stab them a lot" in the plan; it's already assumed.

1357. Preliminary saturation carpet bombing is not automatically Plan A.

2350. Step one of every plan can't just be "Set them all on fire"
Raryn 6th Mar 2016, 2:06 PM edit delete reply
Never really had any named plans in any games I was in, aside for one. And the was plan squid.

We used it a total of three times, twice for non combat related things.

This game I was playing a large, heavily muscled mage that had to infiltrate a very fancy restaurant named "Che la Fancy" because it used to be a greasy tavern with ties to an underground information dealer. So, me and another party member, our cleric, who happened to be a Drow, dressed up in fancy clothes and lied our way into a reservation.

Long story short, it ended with us eating very fancy, expensive food with no way to pay for it. Enter plan squid. Our Drow cleric could spew forth a cloud of darkness. Dine and dash was never so much fun.
SilverShadow4 7th Mar 2016, 12:07 PM edit delete reply
So my group has a player names Matt and he usually plays tall strong characters, much like himself. He's usually strong enough to be able to throw the smaller characters in our group. We've employed this method several times in different games/systems/settings and we've come to call it the Matt-apult.
Draco S 7th Mar 2016, 6:17 PM edit delete reply
Typically it's the Monk goes first, the Oracle stays in the back, and everyone else just tries to find space because we always seem to fight things that are backed up against the wall.
Silver Guardian 13th Mar 2016, 6:02 PM edit delete reply
In dnd 4e: my psion and another player's rogue have put together a great team maneuver. Since I usually go last and she usually goes first, we're able to use that to our advantage where I'll slide enemies closer to her, and she'll take them out quick.

I call it "Return to Darkness".